They will face the winner of Croatia v Denmark, which is played at 7pm on Sunday 1st July.
How did Spain and Russia get to the World Cup knockouts?
Spain were tipped as strong favourites before the tournament kicked off, but like many of the ‘big’ teams their form has been patchy. They rode their luck against Iran, and the failure to beat Morocco in the last group game was a shock. Spain may have topped the group but they certainly didn’t do so in style, even after a thrilling 3-3 draw with rivals Portugal in their opening game.
Many had their doubts about hosts Russia as a team, but they’ve defied all expectations so far. Their 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia set the tone, and they followed it up with another comprehensive win over Egypt. The defeat to Uruguay in their final group match was no surprise, but a knockout match against a European giant is just rewards for making it through the group stages of their own World Cup.
Who are the players to look out for?
Spain have a squad utterly stacked with quality – even if some have yet to show it – but Isco has been pulling the strings in his Spanish side since the opening game.
Russian left winger Denis Cheryshev meanwhile has been a handful for every defence he’s faced so far. He failed to impress during his brief period with Real Madrid – even inadvertently causing their disqualification from the Copa del Rey – but could this match against Spain could prove his redemption?
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